BMW has unveiled its fresh-faced 8 Series Gran Coupé, billing the newcomer as a “four-door sports car for the luxury segment” with greater spaciousness in the rear.

Developed alongside the two-door 8 Series Coupé, the new model is scheduled to arrive in South Africa in the final quarter of 2019.

Locally, the range will comprise the M850i xDrive Gran Coupé (with a 390 kW/750 N.m 4,4-litre V8 petrol engine), the rear-driven 840i Gran Coupé (with a 250 kW/500 N.m 3,0-litre inline-six petrol unit) and the 840d xDrive Gran Coupé (with a 235 kW/680 N.m 3,0-litre inline-six diesel motor). That means the all-paw version of the 840i won’t be offered in South Africa.

All derivatives employ an eight-speed automatic transmission. The M850i will hit 100 km/h from standstill in a claimed 3,9 seconds (some two-tenths slower than the two-door version), while the 840i will come in at 5,2 seconds and the 840d at 5,1 seconds. Expect an M8 version to be unveiled at a later stage.

So, how does this new model differ from the two-door (besides gaining a pair of extra portals)? Well, the wheelbase is some 201 mm longer than that of the coupé, while the rear bench comprises outer pews “styled as individual seats with integral head restraints” and a third middle seat “suitable for use on short journeys”.

The Munich-based firm says the large door apertures make getting in and out of the vehicle easier, with the new model gaining a “considerable increase” in shoulder room in the rear and more headroom in all seats. Boot capacity is a claimed 440 litres, while the rear bench folds in a 40:20:40 split.

The 8 Series Gran Coupé furthermore boasts a model-specific panoramic glass roof extending from the windscreen back to the rear window. Other options available exclusively for the four-door 8 Series variants include four-zone automatic climate control and sun blinds for the rear side windows and rear window.

Adaptive M suspension will ship standard, with active roll stabilisation optionally available for all variants. The M850i and 840i will be fitted with an M Sport differential as standard, while all-paw models will feature integral active steering, too.

Inside, you’ll find BMW’s Live Cockpit Professional (with navigation) system, a fully digital instrument cluster and a 10,25-inch control display.